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Re: proposed change to a spec

From: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2011 09:27:55 -0500
Message-ID: <AANLkTimPWmwwjTfvC_OqZYKDywxkaB3PChsMDceNTN9K@mail.gmail.com>
To: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Cc: nathan@webr3.org, AWWSW TF <public-awwsw@w3.org>
Nice try, Nathan, but I'm with David here. I think we have to assume
that a large amount of metadata has been deployed in good faith that
would only be true if representations were allowed to reflect
*partial* state.

An example might be a blog. I'm not crazy about the practice of
confusing a blog with its home page but we may have to allow using the
home page URI to name the blog, with each representation carrying only
a portion of its state (state = its archive).  This is very similar to
the database use case in Roy's writings - database = resource,
representation = query page.

Another example is using a table of contents with links instead of
putting the entire document on one page. Another is mobile phone
'representations' of Wikipedia pages - those don't carry the entire
'state' of the page.

I reconcile these examples with a more principled view by imagining
that there must be *some* authorized representation that carries the
entire state; it just happens to be one that is never composed or
transmitted. (I knew that Aristophanes would serve me one day!)

Jonathan

On Sun, Feb 27, 2011 at 9:59 PM, David Booth <david@dbooth.org> wrote:
> On Mon, 2011-02-28 at 02:06 +0000, Nathan wrote:
>> I'm thinking about asking for HTTP-BIS to be changed, specifically the
>> text in:
>>     http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-httpbis-p3-payload-12#section-4
>>
>> from:
>> [[
>>     A "representation" is information in a format that can be readily
>>     communicated from one party to another.  A resource representation is
>>     information that reflects the state of that resource, as observed at
>>     some point in the past (e.g., in a response to GET) or to be desired
>>     at some point in the future (e.g., in a PUT request).
>> ]]
>>
>> to:
>> [[
>>     A "representation" is information in a format that can be readily
>>     communicated from one party to another. A resource representation is
>>     a realization (copy/instance) of the state of that resource, as
>>     observed at some point in the past (e.g., in a response to GET) or to
>>     be desired at some point in the future (e.g., in a PUT request).
>> ]]
>>
>> does anybody here object?
>
> Yes, vehemently.  Obviously what you GET is some reflection of the state
> of the resource, but the client cannot assume that the information it
> receives reflects the *full* state of the resource.  Any amount of
> complexity may be hidden behind the HTTP interface.  In fact, that
> complexity may not even be deterministic.  Consider today's weather in
> Oaxaca:
> http://www.weather.com/weather/today/Oaxaca+Mexico+MXOA0069
> The full state of that resource certainly cannot be conveyed in the HTTP
> response.
>
> I think the re-wording you're suggesting only applies to a limited kind
> of resource.  I think the existing wording above is more appropriate in
> general.
>
>
>
> --
> David Booth, Ph.D.
> http://dbooth.org/
>
> Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
> reflect those of his employer.
>
>
>
Received on Monday, 28 February 2011 14:28:30 GMT

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